SOUP AND FLOWER
Draw a bowl of soup on one side of a small card or piece of paper. Draw a flower on the other side. Smell the flower (in through the nose), then blow on the hot soup (out slowly through the mouth). Repeat, and keep the drawing in an easy-to-access place for future use. (Or cup hands for imaginary soup, “hold” the flower – no paper necessary.)
This simple and beloved breathing activity slows our minds and helps kids be present in their bodies.
With hands on their belly, have your child “blow up their belly” like a balloon by breathing in deeply through their nose while keeping the belly soft. Then have them deflate their belly by breathing out through their mouth. Repeat for a few minutes.
Have your child sit with their feet grounded on the floor. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of one, then exhale for a count of five. This helps shift the nervous system response from the sympathetic (“fight or flight”) to parasympathetic (“rest and digest”).